Here's another reason to dig through CyTunes, the digital music download store designed to benefit Duke University's Tisch Brain Tumor Center in the name of late local music booster Cy Rawls, who died of cancer last year: Pipe's long unavailable 1992 debut EP, Ball Peen, was re-released this morning via the Web site. Purchased at once, the 13-minute set runs $5; each of the six songs can be purchased separately for $1.
These six tunes, originally released by Boston label Sonic Bubblegum, feature the band's original line-up of Mike Kenlan, Ron Liberti, Chuck Garrison and Dave "I.T." Alworth. By the next year's "You're Soaking in It" 7" for Amish, Kenlan—who took his leave to lead Small 23—had been (temporarily) replaced by Bad Check Clif Mann. Ball Peen roars from its haunches with a tuneful punk ambition, the harmonies of "The Astronaut Song" making its central desire—the hope to be the first man to smoke in space—that much more memorable. "Bender" is a tight mess about getting loose and living to tell the tale, while the great closer "Basement" is a great little slab of young-dude confusion. Click that box above to stream it, and here to buy it.
And just a quick reminder of other CyTunes goodies: live Superchunk, live Magic Babies, live Polvo, Hammer No More the Fingers, exclusive Rosebuds collaborations, Chew Toy, The Whole World Laughing, live Double Negative, Lud and lots more. And one more reminder: Pipe at Broad Street Cafe Saturday, Aug. 15.
More on Pipe: